This walk begins from a small village in the Jiankou area. Our local guide has a guesthouse here, and he's picked a nice spot—Jiankou is home to some of the most dramatic stretches of Great Wall in the Beijing area.
We'll start off the hike by following a zigzag hillside trail that rises quickly to a Great Wall tower that is almost 1,000 metres above sea level. From the tower we can see the Jiankou basin, as well as the many other sections of Great Wall in the area.
From there we'll head east, following the wall towards Mutianyu. There is some steep climbing, and you'll need a good head for heights and some balancing skills – at some points the Great Wall is overgrown with bushes, and this will force us to walk along the very edge, quite high above the ground.
Along the way we'll pass through several towers. At one point we'll have an option – take a forest detour past an old meeting place that would make a very good campsite, or climb up and down a steep broken down section of wall that's named the Ox-Horn.
We'll end up at the northwestern end of the Mutianyu Great Wall, and cross over on to the restored section*. Even though the wall here is restored, it's still steep, and you may find the long descents tough on the knees.
* Jiankou to Mutianyu … maybe!—getting over into Mutianyu might depend on the presence/mood of the security guards. If it’s not possible to get in to the main part of Mutianyu we’ll just hike the top section of the wall there and take a side trail down to finish at a nearby village. Last time we went, we were able to get over into Mutianyu.
We'll follow the Mutianyu wall all the way over to the south side, and then head down to the carpark where we'll find our bus. There are a few choices when it comes to getting down to the park entrance – walk down the hill trail, or buy a ticket for the luge or the cable car and speed down to finish that way.
From the top carpark we'll ride the park shuttle buses down to the main carpark to finish the hike.
Because of the COVID-19 situation we have some extra terms and conditions for participation.
DO NOT participate if you are sick or showing symptoms of fever and/or have an elevated temperature, or have been in close contact with someone who was.
DO NOT participate if you have not completed any required quarantine after your return to Beijing.